Eating Issues / Relationship with Food / Bodies
Eating issues (or what might be considered eating disorders or disordered eating) are immensely complicated and multi-determined. It is hard to have a peaceful relationship with one's body and with food when we live in a society that tells people otherwise. This includes the the medical industry. In recent years, talk of "BMI" and alarmist ideas about "health" have further consolidated the idea that, to have a body, especially a body that does not conform, is bad. Many other institutions within society contribute (i.e. workplaces may promote weight loss under the guise of "wellness"; life insurance companies may deny policies based on body size; the entertainment industries may require a certain body type in order to perform; some religious institutions may overtly or more implicitly equate food restraint with morality; athletic teams may encourage dangerous eating and exercise practices and a certain type of body; college sororities and fraternities may explicitly or implicitly place value on a certain type of look or body size, etc.). Some learn that their bodies and/or their appetites (for food, for other objects of desire) are shameful because they are "other" (i.e. disabled, ethnic minority, gender minority, etc.).
Putting all these societal influences aside, there are many other reasons as to why one may develop difficulties in their relationship with food or their body. Food is a life necessity, and feeding is one of the first tasks of a baby -- so, issues with food often run deep. Family factors, of various forms, are often at play when it comes to eating issues. Intergenerational trauma is at play for some. Some people grow up in homes in which food is scarce, so food may become something that is either coveted or limited or both. Some grow up in homes where food is bountical, but it is regarded as something that must be limited and controlled. Some people grow up in homes in which relationships with food are healthy, but other forms of relating are troubled in a variety of ways: from overt abuse, to more subtle misattunements, to lack of any boundaries, to overly rigid boundaries, among many other possibilities. Some people are more biologically pre-disposed toward compulsive and/or rigid ways of relating to the world, and this may translate over into food. Some people experience very early loss or trauma that they do not remember, which affects them on a deep level that is hard to capture in words but may be expressed symbolically through how one relates to food. So, food issues can be quite complex! And, of course, eating disorders take many forms and may change over time. Plus, one's body appearance says little about the nature of an individual's relationship with food. While some individuals who have anorexia may indeed be emaciated, many are not.
No one has the power to just take your eating disorder away from you, even a psychotherapist or other types of professionals. The issues you have with food developed for many reasons. While they are maladaptive in certain ways, they likely are adaptive in other ways. Ideally, over time, your life will become centered around other pursuits and less focused on food and/or your body. However, I realize that this is a challenging task that can take a long time, and set backs may occur and need not mean that everything has been lost. It is courageous to embark on this work.
Blogs / Podcasts / Magazines:
("Burnt Toast" / "an anti-diet, fat positive community about body liberation")
(Ragen Chastain - "examining weight science, weight stigma, and what evidence, ethics, and lived experience teach us about best healthcare and public health practices for higher weight people")
(Kate Manne / "a newsletter about fatphobia, misogyny, and more")
("wellness and weight loss, debunked and decoded")
(Laura Thomas / "exploring appetite, identity, and bodies")
(Antiracist Dietitian / "about the intersection of nutrition and racial equity, covering history, food systems, land, water, politics")
(Virgie Tovar: ending weight-based discrimination and anti-fat bias)
(Rebecca Scritchfield, RD)
(Dalia Kinsey, RD / "Body Liberation for All")
("Helping you make peace with food and break free from diet culture" / author of Anti-Diet: Reclaim your time, money, health, and happiness)
(The Fat Issue)
(The Association for Size Diversity and Health)
(National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance)
(Gloria Lucas / support and resources for people of color living with eating disorders, plus educates about harm reduction for eating disorders)
(Fighting Eating Disorders in Underrepresented Populations: A Trans+ & Intersex Collective)
Medical / Size Inclusive:
(spreadsheet of weight-neutral medical doctors)
(Tory Stroker Nutrition - NJ/NY Weight Neutral Providers)
(Anti-Diet, Weight Inclusive Providers Database)